Bill amendment is “massive step” for cycling

12.00 | 23 January 2015 | | 3 comments

An amendment to the Infrastructure Bill which, if adopted, will include a legal obligation on the Government to develop a cycling and walking investment strategy, has been welcomed as a “massive step” by British Cycling’s Chris Boardman.

British Cycling says the amendment will “put a legal obligation on the DfT to set targets and investment for cycling” and “make the transport secretary directly responsible for ensuring that funds are secured to promote active transport”.

Chris Boardman, British Cycling’s policy adviser, said: “This amendment represents a massive shift in thinking and most importantly, commitment. It brings us one step closer to realising our vision for a cycling nation.

“If passed, this Bill will mean that cycling can no longer be ignored as a legitimate form of transport. It makes the transport secretary directly responsible for setting targets and putting in investment.

“And this isn’t just about roads, it could require railway stations, offices and retail parks to all accommodate the needs of people on bikes. I expect all MPs and peers do the right thing and vote through this amendment.”

The news was also welcomed by Julian Huppert, Liberal Democrat MP and co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, who said: “I am really delighted that the Government has seen the force of our argument and is writing into law the cycling and walking investment strategy.

“It is the right thing to improve health, the environment and congestion."


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    I appreciate that motorcycles can bring benefits to the reduction of congestion and some machines are more sustainable than private cars.

    However the amendment is one in favour of Active Travel (there is a separate Act in Wales for that) which is not lead by sustainability but is to “improve health, the environment and congestion.” To be “Active Travel” the power has to come primarily from the traveller’s muscles (arguments about electrical assistance aside), which is the source of the health benefits of walking and cycling. The environmental benefits come from the low CO2 of human power compared to internal combustion and also the much smaller space requirements for parked vehicles (if any). Congestion benefits – even on the carriageway a cycle takes less space per person than even powered two wheelers.

    It would be difficult to charge for bike parking as what do you do about those who fail to pay? “Clamp” the bike? – we don’t do that to cars anymore. Send a bill? (to who?) Take them away? Only done for cars in a dangerous position.

    Helmets – jury may still be out but wearing them is becoming the norm so eventually either they will become compulsory by default or without fuss.

    Mark, Caerphilly
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    There is in the first line and the quote from a sports cyclist that enormous word if. Plus there is an assumption that should this happen it will benefit cyclists whereas the proposal is to promote active travel and as there are more walkers than cyclists to get the best value for money maybe we pedestrians will get better pavements and crossing places. Where is the quote from Living Streets, formerly the Pedestrian Assocation, saying how pleased they are?

    Peter Westminster
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    May I dare ask.. Is it at all possible, whilst the laws are being made in favour of cyclists as a legitimate form of transport that the same consideration, which is ever so long overdue, be given to the other minority group, and likely to remain so, of cycles with engines. ie motorcycles and scooters.

    And would it be possible that if so much money is being thrown about for the parking of cycles wherever, that the same be at least afforded, ie free parking, for motorcycles or will it be that after spending monies on cycle parking facilities they will be made to pay charges. Something that I am sure will swell the coffers of any local authority and shouldn’t be missed as an opportunity to recover some monies paid out. Surely that would be considered reasonable.

    This from someone who believes that crash helmets should be worn at all times by young and old.

    Bob Craven Lancs … Space is Safe Campaigner.
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